The long-awaited Basin Media Studios is one step closer to fruition, with developers officially filing plans to bring the 636K-sq.-ft film and TV studio to the Toronto waterfront.

The planning documents, filed with the City of Toronto last week, provide a closer look at the proposed media hub, set to rise on an 8.9-acre site in the Port Lands at 29, 35, 41, and 75 Basin Street. The project has been in the works for quite some time, with the developers, Hackman Capital Partners (HCP) and its affiliate, The MBS Group, selected in the fall of 2021 by the City of Toronto following a competitive market offering process launched by CreateTO the year prior.

Basin media hub 10Hackman Capital Partners and The MBS Group

All told, the "state-of-the-art production facility" will include 12 purpose-built sound stages, production office space, workshop and production support spaces, backlot facilities, and an above-grade garage. The sound stages will be able to accommodate large productions, utilizing operable partitions between some of them to allow for a combined stage area of nearly 60K sq. ft.

basin media hub torontoHackman Capital Partners and The MBS Group

basin media hub torontoHackman Capital Partners and The MBS Group

Film production isn't anything new for this site. A portion of the lands are currently occupied by the 1931-built Sun Oil Company Building, as well as its one-storey rear addition, which are both used as a film production space. The Sun Oil Company Building, having been designated a heritage building, will be preserved in the redevelopment but the addition will not.

According to the planning documents, the new build is being designed in such a way to be "compatible to the area's historic and contemporary context," which includes making design choices utilizing large building floorplates, linear and rectangular massing, and a simple colour palette.

Basin media hub 7Hackman Capital Partners and The MBS Group

Basin media hub 9 1Hackman Capital Partners and The MBS Group

In their plans, HCP and MBS emphasize wanting to improve connections and public access to the waterfront edge. The development site itself will be designed with "pedestrian-focused landscaped outdoor rooms," each with a "distinct character" and "furniture elements that can support outdoor gatherings and events." And although the City and CreateTO own the waterfront promenade that runs along the south and east frontages of the development site, the developers have provided the City with a conceptual rendering for how it could be developed.

basin media hub torontoHackman Capital Partners and The MBS Group

Once completed, Basin Media Studios won't just be a major accomplishment for Toronto (or even Canada), but will be setting an example on a global scale, being one of the first all-electric production facilities in the world, operating with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

When HCP and MBS were announced as parters on the project in 2021, the development was given an estimated price tag of $250M. It's expected to generate $280M in economic activity, with $119M in net contribution to GDP and $32M in tax revenues across all levels of government, the City of Toronto said at the time. HCP and MBS have also committed to establishing a Basin Media Hub endowment for a local training program, with a $1M initial investment.